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Analyst expects Okanagan recreational real estate market to pop

COVID-sparked minset reset could have Canadians seeking out the good things in life in B.C.
Recreational real estate in the Okanagan is rising in popularity, as Canadians seek to take advantage of what B.C. has to offer (Photo Submitted by RVezy).

Temperatures aren’t the only things heating up in the Okanagan, as recreational properties are poised to become the hottest commodity on the real estate market, according to one analyst.

Shane Styles, president at Epic Real Estate Solutions, is predicting a summer spike in buyers and attributing it to a mindset shift during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What are the best times in my life? Camping, recreating, water-skiing for the first time, a powder day at Big White Ski Resort. When you ask people, and you query them about life and their best and greatest memories, that’s what they reference,” he said.

Styles said that during his 25-year career, comparing months of inventory (MOI) year over year has proven to be a reliable market indicator. MOI shows how long it will take to sell a property if no additional ones enter the market.

According to May data gathered by Styles from Epic Real Estate Solutions, there is only 2.5 MOI for waterfront residential and recreational properties in the Okanagan, which indicates a sellers’ market.

“That’s up slightly from the record low I witnessed at the same time last year of 1.6 MOI and still nearly 50% lower than 2019 and 2020 where the recreational and waterfront residential market was balanced at 6 and 5 MOI respectively,” said Styles via email.

While cabins and waterfront properties are consistently popular among buyers, Styles is noticing a new trend of interest in recreational vehicle (RV) lots. According to Styles, rising gas prices and the cost of towing an RV makes year-round lots to park and use your RV ideal.

“I can locate it in an amazing place on a lake, leave it there, use it whenever I want and not have to worry about towing it,” he stated.

According to data from April released by the Association of Interior Realtors, the average price for a recreational property in Central Okanagan is $695,250, up 256.54 per cent from the same time last year, however only two properties sold, so that statistic is based on a very low sample size.

While Styles believes the interest in recreational properties is here to stay, he foresees the frenzy eventually levelling out.

“I think we’re going to get back to a little bit more normal, which I think is good and we all need that, but people have been reminded that life is short, live every day as if it’s your last.”

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About the Author: Jenna Legge

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